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James began rowing with the Long Beach Junior Crew, competing in all categories of boats.  In college, James rowed for OCC and UC Berkeley, winning Crew Classic multiple times, WIRA Championships, Pac 10 Championships and the National Championships. James also picked up both Oarsman of the Year and Pac10 Newcomer of the Year award along the way.  


In 2009, James was invited to the U23 National Team selection camp and earned a seat in the priority boat - the straight four - that won the first and only medal in the event for the US, losing only to New Zealand.  James spent the next year training in the mornings with the Senior team while they were at the CRC, then later at Chula Vista and afternoons with Cal.  After graduation, an injury, combined with other obstacles, made him reconsider pursuing rowing further and led him to coaching.


While coaching at Marin, the team went undefeated for the entire year, from Head of the Charles to Nationals, bringing home twelve trophies from Regionals.  After Marin, James took over as Head Coach at USC and grew a team of six to over forty, moving from 34th of 34 in the Four at the National Championships to 11th in the Eight.  After USC, James returned to high school coaching at NAC.  That year the club won the points trophy for the first time in six years. Additionally, the team went from B finals in all but two events to A finals in all boat classes at Regionals and his crews qualified an 8, 4, and two singles for nationals, who placed 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 5th at Nationals.  James then did double duty, starting at Sea Base and coaching OCC, where his top two eights won the National Championships and his Four placed fourth. James left OCC to focus on Sea Base and each year, under his direction, the team doubled in size and was representing on the national stage by year two.  


Contact him directly at

James Long Lerno - Men's Varsity Coach

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